The Benz-Patent Moterwagen
Publicity is a powerful thing. When Carl Benz introduced The Benz-Patent Motorwagen, he had already successfully developed a gasoline powered two-stroke piston engine in 1873 and was on the course for a breakthrough with his 954 cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine with trembler coil ignition. This baby could rack up 500 watts of power at 250rpm (that’s about 2-3 horse power) and would eventually be capable of producing 670W at 400rpm in just a few years. Combining this with a new frame constructed of steel tubing with woodwork panels, three wheels and leather trim, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen would become the world’s first production automobile, with a top speed of 10mph and a price tag of £3100.
Carl Benz had one of the world’s greatest achievements at his fingertips but had no way of marketing it, no money of his own and the public eye was far out of reach.
Carl’s wife, Bertha, financed their enterprise with her dowry. She was aware of their predicament and supposedly without the knowledge of Carl, took the driver’s seat and began, what’s considered the first long-distance automobile road trip, an expedition to her parents. She was able to demonstrate to the consumers, families and businessman of Germany just how feasible their new technology was.#
Equipped with her hat pin and garter to service the vehicle, two children in the passenger seat, a know how of finding ligroin from a local pharmacist (a modern day laboratory cleaner) which she used to refuel her vehicle (technically making it the world’s first filling station) Bertha soon had eyes shifting and tongues wagging.
Halfway through her 70 mile journey from Mannheim via Heideslberg to Pforzheim, Bertha asked a local shoemaker to nail leather to her worn down brake blocks. This smart thinking essentially led to the invention of Brake Lining.
In 2008, the Bertha Benz Memorial Route was officially approved as a journey of industrial heritage for mankind, because it follows Bertha Benz's tracks of the world's first long-distance journey by automobile in 1888.
Tennants UK have made it our mission to travel across the country attending industry leading trade shows to demonstrate, inform and educate the market and showcase our Number Plate Printing Solutions.